Skin & Hair Transplant Clinic

At what age should I take my children to the dermatologist?

Parenting is an endless journey to decide what time is the right time to do what, and skin care is no different.
For most parents, they come up with three main questions when they start thinking about their children’s skincare:
  • How soon should I take my child to the dermatologist?
  • What skin problems are they susceptible to and when should I be aware of those problems?
  • Is skin cancer in children something to worry about?

Table Of Content

The right time for your child's first dermatology visit

We recommend that parents bring their children to their first dermatology exam between the ages of 12-15. In these early teenage years, children begin to fight acne, which makes it an excellent opportunity for an initial skin exam.
A visit to the dermatologist will address the current acne problem and begin the conversation about safe sun practices and sun damage prevention.

Skin cancer in children

Take a deep breath. Melanoma and dangerous moles are extremely rare in patients younger than 15 years. If you or a close relative has experienced melanoma, you may have a greater concern for skin cancer in children. Otherwise, you may not have thought much.
If you have a family history of melanoma and your child has a significant number of moles, it may be helpful to bring them at an earlier age for an initial evaluation. Fortunately, skin cancer in children is extremely rare. Usually, high school is young enough to detect any suspicious skin problems before it becomes more serious.
In addition, this is a good time to start a conversation about the importance of sunscreen and the use of sunscreen so you don’t get skin cancer later in life. One of the most damaging things you can do to your skin at an early age is not to protect it from the sun. It is extremely important that children develop the habit of using sunscreen and learn to protect their skin.
Don’t forget the sun’s eye protection too. Teenagers, remember to wear sunglasses when outside, particularly in sports practices. Also, avoid tanning beds. There is clear research that shows an increased risk of melanoma with the use of tanning beds.

Common skin problems for children and adolescents

While skin cancer in children is not a common occurrence, there are multiple skin conditions that could affect your child, specifically acne and skin rashes.


Acne is basically a right of way that many of us go through during our teenage years. One of my goals as a dermatologist is not only to help teenagers treat acne but also to prevent scars that may arise. Healing is much harder to treat than to prevent. Acne is a frustrating skin disease and it takes time and patience to use treatments to see improvements.
In general, the biggest mistake teenagers make when it comes to acne is not sticking to a routine or not sticking to the routine long enough. Many patients will try several products for 1 or 2 weeks at a time, then they will throw them away because they believe it does not work. In reality, most treatments require 2 to 3 months to achieve a visible improvement in the skin. Instead of jumping from one product to another, teenagers should simplify their routine.
How do you find a routine that really works? Talk to your doctor about finding a treatment regimen that is best for your type of acne, then keep it for at least three months before continuing with your doctor.
There are many products that promise to cure your acne quickly. Do not be fooled. If a cream promises to cure your acne within a week, they are lying. Acne is inflammation, and inflammation always needs time to respond to treatment.
Sunscreen is also vitally important to prevent acne scars. Regular application of sunscreen will help prevent some of the red marks that acne can leave behind. In addition, it can reduce and minimize scars. Your skin is already inflamed due to acne, so adding sunburn irritation aggravates the problem and makes long-term scars more likely. Be smart with your sunscreen.


Children are also likely to experience rashes. We commonly see rashes after a cold, virus, or in response to a new medication. If you notice red, itchy, dry skin on your child that does not fade in a few weeks, talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment.
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a red, itchy, and inflamed rash that commonly appears in childhood and can last until adulthood. Children may need a prescription to control the inflammation that comes with this skin condition.
If your child experiences eczema, there is probably a genetic component at play. Families with a history of seasonal allergies and/or asthma may be at greater risk of developing eczema or have children with eczema. There is a lot of information (and misinformation) about eczema online. If you suspect eczema in your child, a consultation with a dermatologist is the best first step.

How often should my child visit the dermatologist?

For patients with eczema and acne, we generally recommend a follow-up appointment every three months. For general skin and mole controls, we see young patients every few years, as long as they register with their pediatrician annually.

How to take better care of your child's skin

In addition to visiting the dermatologist, it is important to continue preventing sun damage every day in your child. It is safe to start using sunscreen at six months of age. We recommend physical block sunscreens containing titanium or zinc oxide as an active ingredient. These are safe for young children and protect their skin better.
Other easy ways to protect your children from the sun include long-sleeved sun shirts, hands for the sun, and keeping them out of direct sunlight between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
We know that sunscreen for children is not as easy as it seems, but it does its best. Parents, don’t be too hard on yourself. Put on sunscreen for your children in any way you can. The sunscreen comes in the form of creams, ointments, sprays, and bars. Use what works. The most important thing is to protect your child from the sun, no matter how you choose to do it.
Parenting is difficult- don’t let skin problems make it even harder. Apply sunscreen regularly and contact your dermatologist if your child has a rash or other skin symptom that does not go away. Otherwise, wait until middle school and bring them when acne bursts. It is the perfect time to start teaching good skincare habits that will last a lifetime.



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